What to know about the Steering Angle Sensor:
When you turn the steering wheel in the direction you’re headed, your car’s wheels turn to match that. However, the actual process is more complex, and modern steering systems have become unbelievably complex combinations of mechanical parts and electronics. One significant part is your steering angle sensor. There are two types of steering wheel angle sensors presently in use – analog and digital sensors. Analog sensors depend on on voltage differences to regulate information about angle and turn direction, while digital sensors use a tiny LED light. Digital sensors transmit important information about the wheel angle, rate of turn, turn direction and other data to the car’s computer. When the steering angle sensor finds a inconsistency between the directions your car is headed and the position the steering wheel is pointed, it employs counteractive stability measures to assist in maintaining vehicle control. If your car is in an under steer condition, an inside rear brake will be applied to correct the slide. Equally, if you’re in an over steer condition, the stability system will apply the brake on the outside rear wheel to correct your course. If the steering angle sensor is not working, the stability system simply will not work, and a warning light will illuminate on your dash.
Facts to Note:
The steering angle sensor is a vital component of your vehicle’s stability system; hence, driving with a faulty sensor should be avoided.
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As steering technology becomes more complex, steering angle sensor resets have become necessary for some vehicles after basic maintenance, such as a wheel alignment.
How to Fix:
The battery is disconnected to disable air bag system
The defective steering angle sensor is detached from the steering column
The new steering angle sensor is fixed into the steering column and secured
The battery is reconnected and the steering angle sensor calibrated
The vehicle is road tested for proper steering operation
There is no specified upkeep schedule or lifespan for steering angle sensors. Ideally, the one in your car will last a lifetime, but electronic mechanisms are subject to a number of problems. If you have a stability system-related warning light on your dash or are concerned that your steering angle sensor needs to be looked at, have one of your expert mechanics diagnose the situation.
Common symptoms indicating you may need to change the Steering Angle Sensor:
A stability system-related warning light is illuminated on the dash
There is travel in the steering wheel (back and forth rocking motion)
The ESP or ESC system is disabled
Importance of this service:
The steering angle sensor needs to be working for your stability system to function. Your vehicle will still operate without an SAS sensor, though that safety feature will be disabled. Have it fixed on time for a safer drive.